Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangout on the 12th of May 2020.
Google Needs to See All Hreflang Variations
Google always needs to see the two or more parts for any language variations, so if this is listed in sitemaps then Google needs to see all of these sitemaps, or one sitemap with all versions.
Issues with Content Injection For Single URLs Shouldn’t Affect The Whole Site
Usually the content injection message is shown in Google Search Console if they believe that content is hosted/shown through the website that the website owner hasn’t created (like a spammer hosting content on their site). These kinds of messages usually apply to individual URLs so it won’t affect the site’s general ranking.
URLs Added To The URL Removal Tool Will Still Count As Indexed
The URL Removal Tool in Google Search Console doesn’t remove anything from the index but instead hides it from search. So it’s still counted as indexed although it won’t show up in search.
The 50K URL Limit in Sitemaps is for the URL Element
The 50K URL limit is for the specific primary URL loc element, so all attributes/URLs nested under that are not counted against the 50K. However, John informed there is a file size limit so it’s important to be aware of this.
Ensure Anchor Text is Natural
John recommends writing anchor text as natural as you can. Google don’t count the words and only evaluate a specific number. If there’s more context about a page through the anchor text then that’s fantastic.
Create a Crawlable Site That Isn’t too Deep or too Broad
To ensure all pages are able to be accessed and easily crawled by Google, John recommends creating a reasonable, crawlable structure that isn’t too deep or too broad. Aim for Google to start on any page on your site and be able to crawl to all other pages on the site just by following links. He recommends using a third-party crawler to start testing a web crawl to review where it is able to crawl from different pages on the site.
Use GSC Parameter Tool to Manage A Large Amount of Parameters
John recommends using the parameter tool if you’re using a lot of parameters to track clicks. The page shouldn’t really change as far as indexing or ranking, as they will fold all the versions into the one. Therefore, performance should not be affected.
Images Still Hosted on HTTP Servers Will Be Seen as Mixed Content
If images are hosted on HTTP servers, chrome will display this as mixed content as there is a security component where you could be leaking user-session information when you fetch HTTP resources. John recommends cleaning this up for user safety and experience but it shouldn’t affect rankings.
Provide Unique Information in Meta Titles and Descriptions Across a Site
When writing titles and descriptions for product pages, John recommends thinking and writing like you’re a human talking about those products. Some of this will include specific product information but some of that will stay the same across the brand.
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